Books by Walter Holland
...a bit of worldplay.
...at least 50% of the fiction is brilliant, 5-stars-on-GR kind of stuff, often to the point that I became frustrated when a given section would end because I could imagine it working well at much greater length. I'm willing to bet that this frustration was a deliberate effect...If this sounds exhausting, it is. It's also virtuosic and impressive... (nostalgebraist)
Allworlds is a book-length fiction: a story in the form of a catalogue of worlds, neither a novel nor (quite) a collection of short stories.
Some Allworlds entries are manic comedy; others are operatic melodrama. There are scary pieces and ridiculous ones. The book's subjects range all over the map, as does its language.
In one of its worlds, buildings whisper at night. Another features a hungry earth. God plays several mean-spirited tricks. A young girl drowns daintily down.
There's a timeline of Sasquatch encounters and a longish piece that allegorizes college life as a ride in a spherical spaceship. The finale of Return of the Jedi is retold in strange language. A father and his young son are surrounded by lead paint. The language of the Gospel of John is parodied. Numerous references to psychedelia are made, largely ironically.
Honestly the most refreshing writing style I've read in years... (Eric Sandy)
Finished the book. Bravo. Legitimately brought tears to my eyes... (Anthony Ling)
This is a fantastic book. It is not your typical phish book/tour diary. Which, IMO, makes it a unique pleasure....delves into the nuts and bolts of the music...mixed w/ some "weirdness" that only @waxbanks could deliver...Get this book!!! (Ben Hatley)
Improvisatory rock band PHISH's Fall 97 tour (tagline: 'Phish Destroys America') is regarded by many fans as their musical high point: a month of intense exploration and ecstatic celebration that cemented their reputation as the go-to source for shamanic math and rock'n'roll science.
A Tiny Space to Move and Breathe is my impassioned, idiosyncratic, detailed, persnickety, personal, lyrical, scattered, loving, weird, joyful, desperate, and above all rather long celebration of the music and moment of Fall 97: a band, a tour, a guy, and a bucketload of concert recordings.
It's aimed at fans, but if you're new to the band, go ahead and take a chance -- there's a lot of good stuff in there for you too.
This is a collection of essays, arguments, reviews, rants, ill-tempered outbursts, surgically precise analyses, rapturous celebrations, prose poems, and shortish pieces of fiction. The material in Falsehoods, Concerns was written between 2006 and 2010. Some of it appeared on my blog first, though the majority of the work is only available in the book. If you like anything else I've written, or indeed value the written word at all, I guarantee you'll like something in this book.
Adam Roberts, scourge of the Hugo shortlist, reviewed the book at his sadly defunct blog Punkadiddle. His review is diplomatic and kind, and was a real help to me:
What [Wally's] particularly good on is the relationship between truth-telling and gaucheness, a fruitful worrying away at the limits of originality -- how 'original' can any writer be, today? -- and a genuinely complex relationship, in what he does, between the urge to splurge everything, no matter how embarrassing, and the urge to autoprotect, to mask-up, to hide behind affectations and styles and ironies and obscurities. If Holland committed wholeheartedly to either route, he'd be a less interesting writer.
He's right about soccer/football, of course. As the son of a lifelong United supporter, I am shamed.